8 Jul 2013

Putaruru retailers agree to stop selling legal highs

10:15 am on 8 July 2013

Retailers in the Waikato town of Putaruru have agreed to stop selling synthetic cannabis and other legal highs from Monday 8 July, because of community concerns about the substances.

The local police sergeant suggested the agreement after an increase in the number of assaults and other violent behaviour offences committed by people allegedly on the drugs.

The owner of the K Beez convenience store, Sid Patel, says he makes about $4000 a week from selling synthetic cannabis but he's worried about its ill effects.

Two other retailers are also pulling the products.

The Government expects to pass a bill this week that will require the makers of legal highs to prove they are safe before selling them; the bill also bans the sale of the substances in dairies.

Associate Health Minister Todd McClay says it's time the rules were tightened, though it will take a few months for the changes to be phased in.